Job 24; Job 25; Job 26; Job 27; Job 28

1 "Why doesn't the Almighty open the court and bring judgment? Why must the godly wait for him in vain? 2 Evil people steal land by moving the boundary markers. They steal flocks of sheep, 3 and they even take donkeys from the poor and fatherless. A poor widow must surrender her valuable ox as collateral for a loan. 4 The poor are kicked aside; the needy must hide together for safety. 5 Like the wild donkeys in the desert, the poor must spend all their time just getting enough to keep body and soul together. They go into the desert to search for food for their children. 6 They harvest a field they do not own, and they glean in the vineyards of the wicked. 7 All night they lie naked in the cold, without clothing or covering. 8 They are soaked by mountain showers, and they huddle against the rocks for want of a home." 9 "The wicked snatch a widow's child from her breast; they take the baby as a pledge for a loan. 10 The poor must go about naked, without any clothing. They are forced to carry food while they themselves are starving. 11 They press out olive oil without being allowed to taste it, and they tread in the winepress as they suffer from thirst. 12 The groans of the dying rise from the city, and the wounded cry for help, yet God does not respond to their moaning." 13 "Wicked people rebel against the light. They refuse to acknowledge its ways. They will not stay in its paths. 14 The murderer rises in the early dawn to kill the poor and needy; at night he is a thief. 15 The adulterer waits for the twilight, for he says, 'No one will see me then.' He masks his face so no one will know him. 16 They break into houses at night and sleep in the daytime. They are not acquainted with the light. 17 The black night is their morning. They ally themselves with the terrors of the darkness." 18 "But they disappear from the earth as quickly as foam is swept down a river. Everything they own is cursed, so that no one enters their vineyard. 19 Death consumes sinners just as drought and heat consume snow. 20 Even the sinner's own mother will forget him. Worms will find him sweet to eat. No one will remember him. Wicked people are broken like a tree in the storm. 21 For they have taken advantage of the childless who have no protecting sons. They refuse to help the needy widows." 22 "God, in his power, drags away the rich. They may rise high, but they have no assurance in life. 23 They may be allowed to live in security, but God is always watching them. 24 And though they are great now, in a moment they will be gone like all others, withered like heads of grain." 25 "Can anyone claim otherwise? Who can prove me wrong?"
1 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied: 2 "God is powerful and dreadful. He enforces peace in the heavens. 3 Who is able to count his heavenly army? Does his light not shine on all the earth? 4 How can a mere mortal stand before God and claim to be righteous? Who in all the earth is pure? 5 God is so glorious that even the moon and stars scarcely shine compared to him. 6 How much less are mere people, who are but worms in his sight?"
1 Then Job spoke again: 2 "How you have helped the powerless! How you have saved a person who has no strength! 3 How you have enlightened my stupidity! What wise things you have said! 4 Where have you gotten all these wise sayings? Whose spirit speaks through you?" 5 "The dead tremble in their place beneath the waters. 6 The underworld is naked in God's presence. There is no cover for the place of destruction. 7 God stretches the northern sky over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing. 8 He wraps the rain in his thick clouds, and the clouds do not burst with the weight. 9 He shrouds his throne with his clouds. 10 He created the horizon when he separated the waters; he set the boundaries for day and night. 11 The foundations of heaven tremble at his rebuke. 12 By his power the sea grew calm. By his skill he crushed the great sea monster. 13 His Spirit made the heavens beautiful, and his power pierced the gliding serpent." 14 "These are some of the minor things he does, merely a whisper of his power. Who can understand the thunder of his power?"
1 Job continued speaking: 2 "I make this vow by the living God, who has taken away my rights, by the Almighty who has embittered my soul. 3 As long as I live, while I have breath from God, 4 my lips will speak no evil, and my tongue will speak no lies. 5 I will never concede that you are right; until I die, I will defend my innocence. 6 I will maintain my innocence without wavering. My conscience is clear for as long as I live." 7 "May my enemy be punished like the wicked, my adversary like evil men. 8 For what hope do the godless have when God cuts them off and takes away their life? 9 Will God listen to their cry when trouble comes upon them? 10 Can they take delight in the Almighty? Can they call to God at any time?" 11 "I will teach you about God's power. I will not conceal anything that concerns the Almighty. 12 But I don't need to, for you yourselves have seen all this; yet you are saying all these useless things to me." 13 "This is what the wicked will receive from God; this is their inheritance from the Almighty. 14 If they have a multitude of children, their children will die in war or starve to death. 15 Those who survive will be brought down to the grave by a plague, with no one to mourn them, not even their wives." 16 "Evil people may have all the money in the world, and they may store away mounds of clothing. 17 But the righteous will wear that clothing, and the innocent will divide all that money. 18 The houses built by the wicked are as fragile as a spiderweb, as flimsy as a shelter made of branches." 19 "The wicked go to bed rich but wake up to find that all their wealth is gone. 20 Terror overwhelms them, and they are blown away in the storms of the night. 21 The east wind carries them away, and they are gone. It sweeps them away. 22 It whirls down on them without mercy. They struggle to flee from its power. 23 But everyone jeers at them and mocks them."
1 "People know how to mine silver and refine gold. 2 They know how to dig iron from the earth and smelt copper from stone. 3 They know how to put light into darkness and explore the farthest, darkest regions of the earth as they search for ore. 4 They sink a mine shaft into the earth far from where anyone lives. They descend on ropes, swinging back and forth. 5 Bread comes from the earth, but below the surface the earth is melted as by fire." 6 "People know how to find sapphires and gold dust -- 7 treasures that no bird of prey can see, no falcon's eye observe -- 8 for they are deep within the mines. No wild animal has ever walked upon those treasures; no lion has set his paw there. 9 People know how to tear apart flinty rocks and overturn the roots of mountains. 10 They cut tunnels in the rocks and uncover precious stones. 11 They dam up the trickling streams and bring to light the hidden treasures." 12 "But do people know where to find wisdom? Where can they find understanding? 13 No one knows where to find it, for it is not found among the living. 14 'It is not here,' says the ocean. 'Nor is it here,' says the sea." 15 "It cannot be bought for gold or silver. 16 Its value is greater than all the gold of Ophir, greater than precious onyx stone or sapphires. 17 Wisdom is far more valuable than gold and crystal. It cannot be purchased with jewels mounted in fine gold. 18 Coral and valuable rock crystal are worthless in trying to get it. The price of wisdom is far above pearls. 19 Topaz from Ethiopia cannot be exchanged for it. Its value is greater than the purest gold." 20 "But do people know where to find wisdom? Where can they find understanding? 21 For it is hidden from the eyes of all humanity. Even the sharp-eyed birds in the sky cannot discover it. 22 But Destruction and Death say, 'We have heard a rumor of where wisdom can be found.'" 23 "God surely knows where it can be found, 24 for he looks throughout the whole earth, under all the heavens. 25 He made the winds blow and determined how much rain should fall. 26 He made the laws of the rain and prepared a path for the lightning. 27 Then, when he had done all this, he saw wisdom and measured it. He established it and examined it thoroughly. 28 And this is what he says to all humanity: 'The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.'"